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Nearly half-million dollars in pot seized in I-985 stop

State Patrol stopped van for tinted window violation

POSTED: August 8, 2010 9:38 a.m.

A traffic stop for a tinted window violation on Interstate 985 Saturday turned up 240 pounds of marijuana, authorities said.

Lt. Scott Ware of the Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad said a Georgia State Patrol trooper pulled over a panel van for dark window tints and a suspended registration in the southbound lanes of I-985 just south of Oakwood. The occupants of the van ran but were captured with the help of Hall County Sheriff's officials with search dogs.

Inside the van, authorities found dozens of brick packages of marijuana totaling 240 pounds, with an estimated street value of $480,000.

Joel Pietro Hernandez-Carrazco, 28, of Lawrenceville and Israel Cortes Arriaga, 30, of Monroe, N.C., were both charged with trafficking in marijuana. Both men are believed to have entered the country illegally, Ware said. They remained in the Hall County Jail on Sunday.



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